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Bush torture lawyer Yoo granted immunity from Padilla lawsuit

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John Yoo, a former Department of Justice attorney who crafted legal memos authorizing the Bush administration’s notorious torture programs, will not have to face a lawsuit filed by Jose Padilla, an American citizen accused of terrorism who claims he was tortured while in U.S. military custody.

In a unanimous decision (PDF) Wednesday, three judges with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Yoo should be granted immunity because torture law was not fully settled in 2001-2003, when Yoo wrote the memos.

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“[Although] it has been clearly established for decades that torture of an American citizen violates the Constitution, and we assume without deciding that Padilla’s alleged treatment rose to the level of torture, that such treatment was torture was not clearly established in 2001-03,” Judge Raymond C. Fisher wrote.

“For several years, Padilla and his attorneys have been harassing the government officials he believes to have been responsible for his detention and ultimately conviction as a terrorist,” Yoo told The Associated Press. “He has now lost before two separate courts of appeals, and will need to find a new hobby for his remaining time in prison.”

Padilla’s attorney claims that while in U.S. custody after returning from Egypt, his client suffered “extreme isolation, sensory deprivation, severe physical pain, sleep deprivation, and profound disruption of his sense and personality, all well beyond the physical and mental discomfort that normally accompanies incarceration.”

Such treatment bears the hallmarks of harsh interrogation techniques approved by then-Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and used by interrogators of other enemy combatants held at the Guantanamo Bay and Iraqi prisons.

Padilla was initially arrested in 2002 and charged with helping foster an al Qaeda “dirty bomb” plot, but he did not face any charges during the three and a half years he was in military custody.

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When Padilla finally was indicted, the “dirty bomb” plot was not even mentioned. Bush officials instead charged him with participating in a terrorist conspiracy to “murder, maim and kidnap” people in Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia and other countries from 1993 to 2001.

Padilla was finally handed a 17-year prison sentence in 2008, although prosecutors had asked for life. The judge in that case noted there was no evidence that Padilla had ever maimed, murdered or killed anyone.

Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

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Matt Gaetz forgot which network he was on: Surprised CNN anchor said ‘I’ve never been called Sean Hannity’

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Rep. Matt Gaetz seemed to confuse cable news networks during a Thursday appearance

Gaetz was interviewed by CNN's Chris Cuomo, who aggressively challenged Gaetz on the facts as the Florida Republican attempted to defend President Donald Trump.

Despite the fact Cuomo's interview was nothing like the puff segments Gaetz is used to on Fox, the congressman seemed confused by the end.

"Congressman, you are always welcome, wherever I am, at nine or eleven, whenever," Cuomo said.

"Thanks Sean," Gaetz replied.

"Did you just call me Sean?" Cuomo asked. "Did you just call me Sean?"

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California lawmaker who chaired Republican Assembly caucus leaving GOP — to become an independent: report

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On Thursday, the Sacramento Bee reported that California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, the former Assembly Minority Leader, is leaving the Republican Party and registering as No Party Preference.

"Instead of focusing on solutions for the big problems that we've got, we focused on winning elections," said Mayes in his announcement. "For me, I'm at the point in my life where I'm done with gamesmanship."

Mayes, a controversial figure who was implicated in an affair with a fellow public official, represents Yucca Valley. He is the second Republican Assemblyman this year to leave the party, after Brian Maienschein of San Diego, who Maienschein of San Diego.

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‘Quantum physics generator’ incident in Ohio results in evacuation — hazmat found no radiation

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Authorities in Columbus, Ohio evacuated dozens of homes after a man called 911 to report being burned by a

"Firefighters say nothing threatening was found in a northwest Columbus garage," WCMH-TV reported. "According to firefighters, a man called and reported that he received ‘RF burns’ while building some sort of ‘quantum physics generator’ in a garage. The man used words like ‘particle accelerator,’ ‘alpha rays,’ and ‘radiation’ while describing how he was burned."

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